Insurance Issues in a Gray Divorce
In a Gray Divorce, the age of the parties calls for issues surrounding
both health and life insurance to be addressed.
Couples divorcing after age 50, but before qualifying for Medicare, should
consider the costs of health insurance when planning for their future.
Once the divorce is final, you cannot remain on your spouse's health
insurance plan. Individuals over the age of 50 need to consider the availability
and affordability of health insurance as part of the financial matters
addressed in your divorce.
You may qualify for Medicare under your former spouse's work record
if you are eligible for your former spouse's Social Security benefits.
Generally, you must be age 65 to qualify, but disabled divorced widows
or widowers under age 65 may be eligible earlier.
Continue to Receive Health Benefits with a Legal Separation
Instead of divorcing, some couples decide to become legally separated.
Legal separation prepares the parties to live separately by legally dividing
property and debt, providing for spousal maintenance when appropriate,
and other provisions but without entering a decree that dissolves the
marriage. Because legal separation does not end the legal marriage, a
spouse may still receive health insurance benefits from the other's plan.
If you are considering this option, you should discuss it with a qualified
divorce attorney who has experience creating legal separation agreements
for couples who are retired, nearing retirement age, or are otherwise
concerned about qualifying for medical insurance with a new plan.
Life insurance is typically considered in association with a spousal maintenance
award as a means of providing security and certainty that spousal maintenance
will be paid for the duration agreed upon or ordered by the court even
if the payor dies. The spouse entitled to spousal maintenance is typically
designated as the beneficiary of the policy.